European churches contribute to Article 17 Dialogue Seminar

14 February, 2024

The significance of the 2024 European elections, and the role of churches in addressing contemporary challenges and encouraging voter engagement, was highlighted by Dr Hillie van de Streek, representing the Conference of European Churches (CEC) at the Article 17 TFEU Dialogue Seminar.

The Dialogue Seminar with churches, religious communities, and philosophical and non-confessional organisations was held on 13 February 2024 at the European Parliament, Brussels. It was hosted by MEP Othmar Karas, First Vice-President of the European Parliament, responsible for the implementation of Article 17 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).

Hillie van de Streek, who serves as General Secretary of the Council of Churches in the Netherlands, expressed her appreciation for the Article 17 dialogue (3) of the Treaty of Lisbon, which ensures an open, transparent and regular dialogue with churches and religious organisations.

“As European churches, we too must encourage voter engagement by taking a clear stance. We must call upon our church members and people of faith to vote for a party that defends our fundamental European values, as listed in Article 2 of the Treaty. We must speak in a time that we renunciate our task as churches in Europe if we keep silent,” she added.

Streek went on to say that church denominations on the national and international level are called to raise a prophetic voice. “With ‘prophecy’ we mean that the church should speak up. The message of the gospel is one of peace, justice and wholeness of creation.”

She critiqued the instrumentalisation of religion for political interests, and how it must be addressed and prevented.  

The seminar featured varied reflections on the importance of Article 17 dialogue for raising awareness against disinformation and foreign interference on the one hand, and for achieving a high turnout at the 2024 European elections on the other. Participants discussed topics related to fake news, disinformation and conspiracy theories, and how they plague in our society and democracies.

Watch full video recording of the Dialogue Seminar

Read more about Parliament's dialogue

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